Gloucestershire's response to flooding
Volunteers were on standby from Friday lunchtime, when a severe
weather warning caused all first aid courses to be abandoned.
Everyone has pulled together this weekend under extremely stressful conditions – our own staff and volunteers, the ambulance service, the fire service and many others.
By early evening a major incident was declared. During the
weekend emergency one dedicated crew member even abandoned her car
and bravely waded on foot to get to the St John Ambulance
headquarters in order to take out a 4x4 vehicle to help local
Three 4x4 vehicles, three ambulances and twelve crew worked
throughout the night to support the local ambulance service trust.
They dealt with more than twenty incidents mainly involving medical
patients who needed emergency admittance to hospital. One crew
battled through three feet of water in the flooded village of
Deerhurst to take a patient to hospital for a medical problem.
Fleet Manager Gary Midwinter said: ‘The rain started about 3am
on Friday morning and by lunchtime we knew it was going to be
serious. It was like a solid deluge of water. Our crews showed
exceptional dedication in getting to our headquarters in order to
man vehicles. One had to abandon her car a mile away and wade
through the water to get here. It wasn’t until I went home from the
office at the end of Saturday that I realised how bad it was –
there was just water in every direction.’
Gloucestershire Commissioner Jason Lugg said: ‘Everyone has
pulled together this weekend under extremely stressful conditions –
our own staff and volunteers, the ambulance service, the fire
service and many others. It has been frightening at times for many,
but the resilience of local people is also to be praised. I have
not seen an event like this before.’